Superfine Tanyang gongfu black tea from Tea Vivre . . . .

I’m learning to love unflavored teas this year, and this beautiful offering from Tea Vivre really makes my job easy! Without even opening the bag, I’m already impressed with the gaiwan tea ceremony directions and WOW! The heritage on this tea is amazing, down to the day of when and where it was harvested (April 8, 2017). The gongfu style black tea is named after where it was grown, Tanyang Village in Fujian, of South East China.

The adventure continues as I reveal Twisted ropes of gold and brown… I’ve never seen this type of tea before, it’s actually soft with some fuzzies on it. A green-thumbed friend of mine called this style of leaves “pubescent”, meaning they were just barely mature.

Still dry, they offer a light, clear, inviting scent, like fresh sweet peas in the garden. I decided to taste a leaf, (they make coffee bean snacks so it’s not that crazy to do, right??) and we are reminded of the chocolate noodles they sample out of Pikes place market.

The walnut colored brew offers a hint of honey taste though none was added. I never expected this sort of delicate leaf to be so powerful! They say the longer you brew this style, the mellower the flavor will be, which is quite the opposite of most teas I’ve had, and it’s completely true!! Now I’m curious about the actual chemistry of tannins etc… oh the rabbit holes of science we can get caught up in…
It is “zero percent bitter” and easy to drink (Hanley, R.,2017). There is a refreshing aftertaste, maybe a subtle hint of wintergreen. This tea doesn’t have much of an aftertaste but I tended to wait a while between sips because this tea was just so transcendental that I couldn’t help but daydream about it.

If ever you need to impress someone with a tea, this is the one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black, loose leaf
Where to Buy: TeaVivre

Being the first one among Fujian’s three best Gong Fu Black Teas (Bai Lin Gong Fu, Zheng He Gong Fu, Tan Yang Gong Fu), Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea has tight and thin leaves, looks glossy, which could be seen from TeaVivre’s product photo. When looking at this tea, the golden pekoe is particularly eye-catching, strongly connected to its high quality. Under the effect of photosynthesis, fresh buds contain the largest amount of beneficial substances than other parts. Moreover, the traditional making method of black tea has retained the nutrition in the most volume.

Black tea is renowned with it red leaves and red liquid. The liquid of Tan Yang Gong Fu is bright red, and clean, which brings you a feeling of pureness. The flavor will vary based on different amount of teas and time of infusion. If using gai wan to brew in traditional Chinese way (Recommend Brewing Guide), you will sense the sweet and mellow flavor, and feel a quick sweet aftertaste in your throat. The aroma of Tan Yang Gong Fu will float around you for a long time.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bella Luna Blue from Adagio Teas. . . .

One of the things I love about Adagio Teas is their creativity.  If you are familiar with their tea site, you know they have certain teas that the offer only during certain times of the year.  Bella Luna Blue, sadly, is one of those.  Let me explain.

Bella Luna Blue is a gorgeous blend of butterfly pea flowers, lemongrass, and blueberry flavors.  If you haven’t experienced butterfly pea flower tea, you are in for a treat.  This lovely blue flower creates stunning blue colored tea.  When you add in lemon juice, your dark blue tea turns into purple. A sight for the eyes for sure but also a treat for your taste buds as well.

Brewed hot, this herbal blend hits all the right notes.  Sweet with a berry citrus twist and a slight herbaceous feels.  Add in a touch of lemon, and the citrus notes are enhanced and you are treated with an herbal tea lemonade. There is a solid but not overwhelming floral feel that really elevates the sip.

Pour this brew over ice, and you have an amazingly delicious herbal iced tea that will appeal to any taste bud.  The floral notes are not as strong but are still there.  You are still greeted with this wonderful combination of citrus and berry.

This tea blend is absolutely fantastic and one that I wish could be a staple in my stash all year long. Wish is where the sad part of this review comes to play, this tea is only available during a blue moon which happily is coming soon- March 31st.

So set your reminders my tea drinking friends, because on March 31st, you’ll want to be grabbing some of this tea to enjoy while we experience those spring months because if there was ever a tea that screamed spring, it would be this blend.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description

Experience the elusive mystery that is the phenomenon known as our Bella Luna Blue. Available only when there is a second full moon in a calendar month, our rare Bella Luna Blue blends the zesty freshness of lemongrass and the flavor of blueberries with the exotic Butterfly Pea Flower, which when brewed, turns this mystifying herbal tea indigo! For an even more exciting treat, add a few drops of lemon juice to the mix and watch as the real magic unfolds right before your eyes!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anything but Basic – Louisa May Alcott from Simpson and Vail

There is nothing better than sharing a hot cuppa with hot ladies. Wait, did that came out wrong? I mean strong, independent, educated ladies. Yeah, that’s who I’d have tea parties with! So, I invited two amazing students from my “Women’s Contributions to Science” class for a tea party. And, what better tea to drink than one inspired by the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott.

Simpson and Vail created fandom teas for several authors, and this green blend has a soft spice scent with the dried apple bits – is it nutmeg that it reminds us of? Pine? As we brew up this pumpkin pie colored treat, we bring up recent TED talks, STEM, swiping right… Hey, just because we love Autumn doesn’t make us totally basic! And neither is this literary tea – it’s good for multiple infusions and it builds flavor as you drink it. There is a midweight mouthfeel, and a certain sweetness from the Rose that lingers into the aftertaste.

It’s a heartwarming blend, and we have high spirits for the coming equinox, including brainstorming for Halloween costumes. If our Louisa May tea was alive today, we picture her costumed as T.Swift in a flannel, and this tea is the perfect embodiment of that.  Now if you’ll pardon me, I’ve been inspired to go crochet a scarf for some eligible but aloof bachelor.


 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:   Simpson & Vail
Description:

Early in Little Women, while visiting a sick Laurie, Jo says that her sister Meg’s blancmange is made “very nicely.” Later, her own attempt turns out “lumpy” and accompanied by strawberries that were “not as ripe as they looked.” Our blend follows Meg’s example and is almost, as Laurie says, “too pretty to [drink].” Combining almond and strawberry flavors, this blend brews to a delicious tea that is fruity and aromatic. It manages to be both sweet and light thanks to the Chunmee green tea base and the gentle floral notes added by the rose petals.

Ingredients: Green tea, apple pieces, flavoring, strawberry pieces and rose petals.

Certified Kosher

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Champagne Raspberry from Tea and Tins. . .

Alcohol isn’t really in my life. I don’t mind having a drink once in a while, but it mostly upsets my stomach and gives me a headache. Tea is my drink of choice. However, I don’t mind teas that are made after alcoholic beverages….things like hot buttered rum, pina coladas, or in this case, champagne!

Upon opening my little sample bag, the first thing that came to mind was raspberry tootsie pops. It actually smells JUST LIKE a tootsie pop. Its making my mouth water! Once steeped I gave it a sip and think it needed a little sweetening, so I added just a pinch of agave. It tastes like a tootsie pop. Honestly, I just cant get past that reference! I’m tasting hard candy here. However I will say, that after swallowing I do get a hint of tingly champagne. But all in all, this is totally a raspberry tootsie pop through and through. Sweet and tangy with a hint of cocoa from the tootsie roll sitting in its center, but not too much that you’ve reached the chewiness just yet. I cant really speak of whether you will get a full on champagne experience when you drink this being as all I can taste and visualize in a tootsie pop, but I will say that your taste buds will tingle with bubbly happiness because this is tangy and tasty and leaves you wanting more!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Tea and Tins
Description

White tea, safflowers with champagne flavor and red raspberry flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fresh Perspectives Green Tea from Plum Deluxe. . ..

The name of this tea is what caught my attention. “Pour a cup of this tea and sit in the stillness. Consider fresh possibilities.” I thought that was interesting. As a stay at home mom to an 8 month old, it is a little hard to sit in the stillness…but i’m trying. The ingredients here are green tea, apricot pieces, cinnamon chips, calendula, and vanilla essence. I was really excited once I read the ingredient list because the combination of all those ingredients just sounded really yummy.

The first thing I noticed once I steeped this tea was that it smelled like apricot cobbler, or peach cobbler. The apricot scent was so realistic that you would think I just sliced up some fresh apricots. The cinnamon and vanilla mingles with the apricot and honestly smells like cobbler. Really, really, yummy.

Of course the green tea adds that crisp, fresh, vegetal-ness that ties it all together. The taste is delicious- it tastes exactly the same way it smells- like apricot cobbler! I think that if my daughter was down for a nap right now I would definitely want to drink this while sitting “in the stillness” and relaxing. It is so yummy and definitely evokes comfort and relaxation! I will be finishing the rest of my sample and i’m now interested to see what other teas Plum Deluxe has to offer, this one has totally won me over!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!